Joe Cimino says it would be funded through savings found by new ministry
An NDP government in Ontario would fund its share of the $125 million Maley Drive project, the party's Sudbury candidate said Friday.
While not spelled out in the party's platform that was released Thursday, Joe Cimino said the province's one-third share would be funded largely by the $600 million the party say its new Minister of Savings and Accountability will uncover. Part of those savings will go into a fund earmarked for municipal projects, he said.
The Maley Drive Extension would complete the road ring around the city, allowing heavy trucks headed west or east on Highway 17 to bypass downtown and other busy roads, saving wear and tear on the city's already bumpy streets. It would also offer motorists a more convenient route to get to different parts of the city — the Valley from Sudbury, for example — easing traffic congestion at some major intersections.
While the city has completed much of the planning for the project, it's waiting for the province and the federal government to agree to each provide one-third of the total cost.
Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne committed to providing the province's share of the project in the budget she introduced before the election was called. But Cimino, a city councillor, said the Greater Sudbury has been trying to get funding for Maley from the province for years, without success. He said voters should be wary of promises made by a government that likely knew an election was coming.
“The Liberals don't keep their promises,” he said. “We've designed it, we've done the environmental. Council has made it a top priority and we're committed to putting shovels in the ground – not just making election promises.”
Cimino said the NDP understands it's near impossible for a relatively small city spread out over a large geographic area to fund this sort of project on its own. And he's had several discussions with Horwath about Maley.
“Andrea has always listened to me,” Cimino said. “She's one that speaks to her MPPs, that consults with communities (and) municipalities more than any other leader.”
Horwath would also complete the four-laning of Highway 69 between Sudbury and Toronto by 2016, he added. That includes the 11 kilometres already announced in the Liberal budget, and the remaining 80 kilometres between here and Parry Sound.
“It's an economic necessity, it's for the safety of our residents, and I challenge the other candidates to commit to having the shovels in the ground as soon as possible,” Cimino said.
“As a city councillor, I know intimately the needs of Greater Sudbury, in terms of roads projects. We have a 10-year capital project (priority list). And if given the privilege to represent Sudbury at the provincial legislature, I think I have real insight into the 10-year capital projects.”